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Matrix Continue Dominant Season with 13-3 Win Over Angels

Jul 11 2017 ABCCL League News | Comments Off on Matrix Continue Dominant Season with 13-3 Win Over Angels

 

By: Matt Lamb

 North Brunswick, NJ – Some early rain subsided but the New Brunswick Matrix continued pouring on runs and stormed away with a 13-3 victory over the NJ Angels in eight innings Tuesday at North Brunswick Community Park,.

The Matrix (20-4) have been a force to be reckoned with, winning 10 of 11 games heading into the All-Star break and then sweeping the Freehold Clippers on Sunday to solidify their mark as the League’s most successful team to date. The offense broke out for three home runs and 12 hits, as four Matrix players recorded multiple hits in the winning effort over the Angels (6-14).

“When we play here at [North Brunswick] Community Park, we know that if we can stick to our game plan at the plate, we can have a nice day and we can stay focused,” Matrix Head Coach Glen Fredericks said. “Today, we put good swings on the ball and we didn’t change a thing. The ball was going out  today.”

A pair of two-run home runs put the Matrix up early in the game. David Cardona (Elizabeth, NJ/ The College of New Jersey) started off the scoring by hitting a ball off of a solar panel on the scoreboard over the right field fence for a two-run blast in the bottom of the second inning. In the bottom of the third, Dan Valerio (Tinton Falls, NJ/ Southeastern University, FL) delivered another two-run long ball to left field to make the score 4-0 in favor of New Brunswick.

The Angels attempted to make a comeback midway through the game. After two walks and an error, a ground out scored Luke Bowerbank (Bernardsville, NJ/ Rutgers University-New Brunswick). An RBI single by Ross Halkias (Kinnelon, NJ/ Rutgers University-Newark) brought home one run, but the arm of Matrix outfielder Mike Decker (Montgomery, NJ/ Rowan University, NJ) halted a second run from scoring and ended the inning.

The Angels continued to get on base and cause problems for the Matrix, but strong defense at the hot corner, manned by Nick LoGatto (Helmetta, NJ/ New Jersey City University), kept the Angels grounded. Fredericks believes defense helped the solid pitching all night, especially when the situation got tough. “When our pitchers know that the defense is going to make plays behind them that gives them all the confidence in the world to go out there and do their job. To have a lead like this also lets them attack the batters,” he said.

A sacrifice fly by LoGatto scored Cardona in the bottom of the fourth to give the Matrix a 5-2 lead. Matrix starting pitcher Austin Minton (Roebling, NJ/ Montclair State University, NJ) tossed four innings in the winning effort, allowing two unearned runs on one hit while striking out three batters.

The turning point in the game was the bottom of the seventh, and it was an exclamation point on the Matrix’s day offensively. Leading 6-2, Matt Leviton (South River, NJ/ Utica College, NY) launched a solo home run as a pinch hitter on the inning’s first pitch. From then on, the Matrix unloaded. A bases-loaded walk brought the lead to 8-2. The next batter, Valerio, roped a line drive to left field, and a fielding error allowed the bases to clear and Valerio to go to third for an 11-2 Matrix lead. A wild pitch and error accounted for the final two Matrix runs in the inning. “We were seeing the ball well and putting good swings on the ball. We were staying loose and calm and it’s been helping us win games,” Valerio said.

The Angels grabbed one run in the top of the eighth on a ground out, but the game was called after the side was retired due to darkness. Fredericks noted team chemistry afterwards as a catalyst to the impressive success the team has had this season. “From game one, it’s been team chemistry,” he said. “This team came together fast, and the guys all get along. One guy makes a mistake, and nine pick them up. You can’t teach that or fake that; it’s real with our guys.”

The Angels will look to rebound on Wednesday, July 12 in a make-up game against the Monmouth Monarchs at Holmdel High School in Holmdel, starting at 5:45 p.m. They’ll have a short turnaround before again facing the Matrix on Thursday at Smith Field in Parsippany. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.